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A Taxing State of Affairs
The saga of President Trump’s taxes continues with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refusing to release Trump’s most recent returns, writing in a letter to the head of the House Ways and Means Committee that he finds the request “lacking a legitimate legislative purpose.”
James Corden joked about the seemingly endless tax drama: “Who would have thought ‘Game of Thrones’ would be wrapping up before the Trump tax return story ever did?”
On “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah weighed in on the dispute. “Here’s the thing: Many legal experts say that the law is on the Democrats’ side,” he said. “If they have a reason, they get to demand Trump’s tax returns. It doesn’t matter if you think the reason is [expletive]. That’s just how it works. That’s how America’s laws work a lot of the time.”
“It’s the same way a president can declare an emergency at the border just to get his wall,” Noah continued. “It doesn’t have to be a real emergency. Yeah, he just has to say something. He can just be like, [imitating Trump] ‘Folks, these Mexicans, so dangerous. So dangerous, some of them can even come back from the dead into our land. I saw it in a documentary called ‘Coco.’”
On Tuesday, The New York Times reported on Trump tax data from 1985 through 1994, which showed his core businesses lost more than $1 billion over a decade.
“In fact, year after year, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other taxpayer in America. I guess we finally found something that Trump really is the best at.” — JAMES CORDEN
Clooney Shills for the Climate
“Planet Earth, unfortunately, after seven billion seasons, is about to be canceled,” Noah said in reference to a United Nations study on climate change that found that more than a million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction.
Seth Meyers poked fun at Mike Pompeo’s response, in which the secretary of state praised the steady reductions in sea ice for “opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade.”
“Hey! The polar ice caps are melting, and you’re excited about new trade routes? That’s like being excited that your house burned down because now you can see your pool from the driveway.” — SETH MEYERS
“Hoping for a disaster so you can make money off it isn’t a plan for climate change, it’s literally the plot of ‘The Producers,’” Meyers continued. “You’re trying to pull a Max Bialystock on climate change. ‘It’s springtime for everyone all of the time!’ And hey! Your boss called climate change a Chinese hoax, remember? You can’t just turn around and say it’s not a hoax, but good news, we could make money off it. What’s next, we’re going to see Trump on QVC, selling urban canoes?”
Jimmy Kimmel pounced on the passageways remark as well. “Great, it will be very good for the kayak industry but everyone else is screwed,” he said, before introducing a video parody in which guest “actor, director, and two-time Sexiest Man Alive” George Clooney reps for Udumass, an initiative supporting science and working against “dumb-[expletive] idiots saying dumb [expletive].”
The Punchiest Punchlines (Met Gala Edition)
“In case you can’t tell, the theme this year was ‘camp.’ Now, it’s hard to pin down, but the Met explained it as anything that celebrates artifice, exaggeration and being intentionally over the top — as opposed to previous Met Galas, which were all about modest restraint.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“This is a who’s who of ‘who the hell put you in that dress?’” — JIMMY KIMMEL
“Singer Katy Perry wore a hamburger suit with a toothpick hat. Said Trump, ‘Oh my god, it’s the perfect woman. But lose the toothpick, I’m not that fancy.” — SETH MEYERS
“It’s just nice to know I’m not the only person at these events who ends up hiding in the bathroom with a giant cheeseburger.” — JAMES CORDEN
The Bits Worth Watching
Stephen Colbert’s monologue Tuesday night touched on the stock market, trade deals with China and Fox News viewers having an existential crisis.
What We’re Excited About on Wednesday Night
RuPaul Charles will stop by “The Late Show” to chat about Season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Also, Check This Out
Amy Poehler directs herself and old friends including Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey in “Wine Country,” a new Netflix film out Friday. The story, about a trip to Napa, is ripe with one-liners and physical comedy, Manohla Dargis writes in her review. Poehler and Rudolph, she says, are scene-stealers.